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Title: Women Doctors of the Catholic Church: A Study in Servant Leadership
Contributor(s): Cameron, Christine (author); Riley, Daniel  (supervisor); Harman, Kay  (supervisor); Davies, Susan (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2010
Copyright Date: 2009
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Abstract: This research investigates the lives and work of St Teresa of Avila, St Catherine of Siena and St Therese of Lisieux, as servant leaders of the Catholic Church. The women are the three most recent persons to have bestowed on them the honoured title of 'Doctor of the Church.' A doctor of the Church is a person who has been honoured posthumously by the Church and has fulfilled the criteria of eminent doctrine, sanctity of life and acceptance and approval by the Pope and/or his General Council. In its long history the Church has proclaimed only thirty-three doctors of which three have been women. The seminal work of Greenleaf (1970) on servant leadership and Spears (1998) with his identification of the ten core characteristics of servant leadership provided the framework and inspiration for this study. The research process involved applying the ten core characteristics of servant leadership, an analytical tool proposed by Spears (1998: 4-5), to the lives and work of Teresa, Catherine and Therese. The focus of the study is how the lives and work of these three women reflected the ten core characteristics of listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people and building community. The methodology adopted was historical and incorporated a hermeneutical approach to do justice to the classical texts being investigated. In the examination of the lives and work of each of the three women doctors there was particular reliance on historical primary sources as well as on numerous secondary sources. Documentary analysis thus formed a major part of the research. The findings of the research indicate that the lives and work of Teresa, Catherine and Therese reflected strongly the characteristics of servant leaders. Each demonstrated the ten core characteristics of servant leadership in their lives and work, albeit in varying degrees.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 210399 Historical Studies Not Elsewhere Classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950404 Religion and Society
Rights Statement: Copyright 2009 - Christine Cameron
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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